Until a few years ago, I believed being patient was for losers; winners made their own way. The proverb, “where there is a will, there is a way” had me convinced that—if I wanted something bad enough—I had to rely on my willpower to make things happen exactly as I wanted and in my timing. From my vantage point, this is what successful people did, they made things happen, obstacles be damned.

Was I ever wrong!

We don’t really know what we want

We should not take this “will” proverb at face value; it needs further explanation. Can we will ourselves to find a way to make things happen?

I don’t imagine so, especially when we are chasing the goals others thought up for us. One cannot manufacture the passion to pursue and accomplish something not really meant for him/her. You have the free will to try, of course, but the Universe will stand by as you beat your head against the wall until you finally run out of energy to keep chasing these false goals.

There are those times, however, that you were persistent enough to accomplish something others wanted for you, but you soon discovered it did not make you happy.

I have traveled on that road many times. There was a period I was certain I could will accomplishments I desired, but looking back, this was never good for me. I didn’t realize then that I had developed a misguided attachment to pleasing others. Lacking my true definition, I often settled for things that met the approval of those close to me, but they were never attached to my heart.

Uncooperative with the Universe

One of my favorite pastimes has been to bang my head against the closed doors that appeared in my life. I don’t know exactly how or why I picked up this bad habit, but it has been part of my human condition for a long time. The myriad bumps on my head taught me one thing,

“The doors that remained closed were never meant for me to open in the first place.”

But, as long as I kept trying, the Universe could only stand by until I realized none of those things were meant for me.

All possibilities are not for us

We were never destined to be everything we aspired to be. There are things not meant for us to achieve, like being a professional athlete, president of a country or a great singer. Therefore, it is important to let go of the external pressures to be something others want us to be and discover our true passions.

To work with the Universe, you must first define what you feel passionate about. Passion is the essential fuel that feeds the will needed to develop the skills and acquire the corresponding knowledge to do anything. With passion, skill and knowledge you can embark on your journey taking one step, one day at a time and having faith a Higher Power is conspiring with you in perfect timing.

The pace of the Universe 

When you go at the speed of the Universe, there will be no set formula or established timetable to follow. The Universe will not work with wishful thoughts, it will await your serious effort and commitment before collaborating with you. Hints and opportunities will come along the way, but doors will not open if you allow your fear of being uncomfortable prevent you from risking your way onto the new path.

The following line from William Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, speaks to this last point;  

There is a tide in the affairs of men (and women). Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life. Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

Just like choosing to beat my head against a closed door is an error, so too is avoiding the openings the Universe gives you. When you do so, you will wallow in misery until the pain and fatigue of trying to keep things the same becomes greater than the fear of taking a risk.

Working in cooperation with Universe is a lifelong pursuit. This may not sound very satisfying now, but it will be much more satisfying than experiencing the anger and frustration that come from trying to force your own way.

Photo by Taylor Young on Unsplash